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Search Features and User Behaviour

Google used to be a list of 10 blue links for when you searched a query. In 2019 and going into 2020, search engine results have a lot more features and are more detailed to better answer your query.

Some examples of features that Google has integrated into SERPS are:

  1. Direct Answer Boxes
  2. Featured Snippets – These can come in many different variations
    – Paragraphs
    – Bulleted Lists
    – Numbered Lists
    – Tables
    – YouTube Videos
  3. Knowledge Graph/Panel
  4. Local Pack
  5. Image Pack
  6. Twitter
  7. News Boxes
  8. Paid Ads

All these new features in search engines are impacting how people search. Each one of these features affects the distribution of a searcher’s attention on the page.

Before the integration of these SERP features, users would browse results very linearly, reading down lists before they found what they needed. Today, users browse around many elements on the page, leading to a non linear SERP-processing gaze pattern. This is known as the pinball pattern. It is referred to as the “pinball pattern” as the users gaze bounces around visual elements like a ball in a pinball machine.

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[IMAGE CREDIT: https://www.nngroup.com/]

Here is a visual example of The Pinball Pattern.

The pinball pattern study shows that user attention is hard to grasp. To have the best chance of catching this attention, it is important that your website ranks on the first page of Google. In fact, you are 71% more likely to get a website click if you appear on the first page of Google organically. This drops to 4-6% for websites on page two. This can be achieved through SEO (search engine optimisation). You can find out more about SEO in our recent blog here.

As a digital marketing agency, we have a specialist SEO team who can give your website the best results in the search engines. If you are interested in our SEO services, you enquire today by calling our Hull office on 01482 333 833.

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